Hello and warm welcome to August!
I'm in the Cornish town of Falmouth, and here's what I've been up to for the past two weeks.
My previous blog ended on the 31st July, so we will pick up where we left off - 02:00, 1st August, 2022 - but before that, a little look back.
Throughout mid-late July, I noticed an emerging pattern: July was becoming ever more busy and chaotic.
By the end of July, I felt like that during every day of August, I would be doing something different, with little to no time for rest or breaks.
1st August, 2022 - Day 1: A Visitor From The Mainland
The month's shenanigans started of with a friend of mine called Jack.
Jack and I used to be pretty close friends back in my school years, but after I left the school we were both at, we went our own separate ways.
We messaged a bit in early 2022, but properly stayed in contact from June/July onwards (more July) - and eventually we arranged for Jack to come and see me on the Island.
Due to connections, it was easiest for him to get the hovercraft over to Ryde, which is a little bit of a drive for me, but I was down for it.
Upon arrival, I drove on my very first pier. Admittedly, at first, it's a bit unnerving, as there's just a couple of wooden planks, beams and screws between you and some pretty darn deep water.
Prior to Jack arriving, we only very loosely planned out the day - myself wanting to do three main things 1) Get Fuel/Car Wash 2) Ride on the Isle Of Wight Steam Train.
With Jack only wanting to visit morrisons/other supermarket, the day was set.
To begin with, we found a petrol station and filled up the car - me pulling up next to a very nice looking Ford GT.
After the owner returned, I asked if it was legitimate or a replica - and he told me that it was indeed a replica - and that it was an Elise/Exige underneath - very peculiar.
From here, we next visited Bembridge Fort, as there was a large monument (Earl Of Yarborough - built 1849) - and a artillery battery called "Culver Battery" - facing the English Channel, there were concerns (during both wars) about the French.
After this, we headed to the Isle Of Wight Steam Railway which was a beautiful little ride with some beautiful views either side.
Onward from here, we went to the highest point on the Isle Of Wight: St Bonniface Down in Ventnor - Timon has now been to the highest points in both The Isle Of Wight and Surrey!
We had a little walk around the surrounding areas.
Following this, Jack wanted to go back to my house/have a little visit of the beach - but time was running a little tight (as he had a train/hovercraft to catch), so we went back to mine, had a little chat with my mum and then headed back to Ryde.
Upon getting back home after this, I realised I had caught my first roadkill: a butterfly.
2nd August, 2022 - Day 2: Visiting The Mainland
After a well-earnt rest, I woke up at about 5am the following day, as Evie said she wanted to do a road-trip for quite a while, so, I found time in my busy schedule for her, and, on the 2nd August, got on the first ferry of the day to see her.
Evie has a friend in Cranbrook, Kent.
In August 2021 (almost a year ago +/- a few weeks), we made the exact same trip/journey - so the friend we visited knew (just about) who I was.
After a nice long chat, and bite to eat across the road, me and Evie bundled back in the car and headed back home.
3rd August, 2022 - Day 3: Hungary For A Good Result...
On Wednesday, it was my weekly race-day, and this time it was Hungary on the agenda.....and it didn't go so well.
I qualified 12th, just about got into the Top 10, cut the inside of turn 3, that unstabalised the car, corrected one way, corrected the other and ended up heavily in the wall.
This season really isn't going well at all.
Gained iR (as a result of race) = +
Lost iR (as a result of race) = -
W1 - Hockenheim (Pitch Black)
W2 - Long Beach
W4 - Watkins Glen (No Pace) (Missed W3, Didn't have Fuji)
W5 - Montreal/Circuit Gilles Villnerve (Battling for podium...at time)
W6 - Spa Francorchamps (In Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo)
W7 - Sandown Raceway
W8 - Hungaoring
iR: - (About equal - cancelling out progress made - excluding other races I do)
(W9 - Didn't race in as it was at Suzuka and it would be one of my final "free" dates this season, and I wanted to end on a high.
W10: Busy with Brother
W11: Family Holiday
W12: Possibly free
Certainly a season to forget, and I will - but I'm young and have plenty of time to make up iRating in series and cars I enjoy.
On the subject of "making up iRating in series and cars I enjoyed, I decided since GT3 went tits up, I'd test a GT4 McLaren at Road America - a track with a vast range of corners (fast, slow, sweeping, 90 degree) and see how I'd get on.
I'd finish 6th after spending 3/4 of the race in 4th, and then getting nipped at the end by two charging Mercs.
After ROAR, this was only my second official race in the McLaren - ROAR inspiring me to give the McLaren a shot for a season.
I was spied testing the McLaren, but with how short Lime Rock is, it didn't really give me a chance to properly get my foot down and test the grip/downforce.
Winton was next on the GT4 calendar - a track I didn't have, and didn't know - as I know the layout of Road America, I can make a rough comparison of braking points and how much grip to "expect" (GT4 is at a lower speed - so if I'm sliding through a corner I don't usually slide through, I know the car is "excitingly on-edge"
4th August, 2022 - Day 4: Teardown Thursday
After spending the good part of 6 months studying (uni) and trying to complete a Teardown Mission (drag barrels scattered across the map into a circle behind a van whilst a Tornado tries to kill you), I once again become stuck.
Since June/July, I had been stuck on two missions - the first being one in which you had to collect 8 targets/objectives from a supermarket map within 60 seconds.
To save time, I opted for only the MANDATORY targets (half are required, half are optional).
The second mission was slightly more exciting, my character went on holiday to a Carribean/Hawaiian/Tropical Island (lucky bastard), and whilst on the island, had to hack into terminals to turn off the alarm system.
The difficulty with this mission is that the terminals that you had to hack were spread across the archipelago of Islands - with not a man-made bridge between them (only rock formations in hard to reach places.
I spent many a night figuring the best and quickest route, and which target/objective to start on - eventually, I gave up and just completed the mandatory targets, which SLASHED my time (as I only have 60 seconds to get to the escape vehicle).
5th August, 2022 - Day 5: "A Day For Myself"
After visiting many (okay, two) friends, having an iRacing and Teardown day, I thought I just needed a day to chill off and relax...but come Friday, I realised...I didn't quite know what that meant or entailed...I mean, I was just enjoying myself, so I decided to just have another Teardown/fun day and enjoy myself.
Following this, (and not on Teardown Thursday) I'd complete a few more, including one in which I had to take a stack of (4) tyres, and two halves of a vehicle (separately - front and back)
The difficulty was that once you un-attached the vehicle from the platform it spawned on, the platform (on icy water) would usually sink/tip, tipping the vehicle in the water, and essentially ending your mission (the vehicle being practically immobile from this point)
After completing the shopping mall mission, the town mission (where I had to move the tyres, and two vehicle parts) and the island hacking mission, I eventually got to a point where I was chuffed with my progress, completed one more mission (involving a helicopter chasing/shooting at me as I exploded targets/objectives - finding cover, and timing it with the helicopter's movement was paramount to my success - but it was very difficult.
To end, I did a few missions which didn't require a time-limit - such as stealing Christmas ornaments from a supermarket - whilst robots patrolled (avoid the bots!)
I'm now on a mission where I have to run through a Security Robot Facility, stealing targets - but the first task will be to familiarise myself with the layout for the fastest time.
Saturday 6th August - Endurance Anarchy
On the weekend of the 6th August, the iRacing "stars" aligned and 4 different endurance series were held on the same weekend - these were:
1) VRS Endurance - Hungaoring (3hrs) 2) Global Endurance Series - Road Atlanta (24 Hours)
3) Nurburgring Endurance Series - Nordschliefe (3 Hours)
4) Creventic Endurance Series - Imola (12 Hours)
It was all very irritating - other than Hungaoring - I wanted to do all of the races! After the agonising pain at the PearTree 3 - and falling in love with the Chevrolet once again, I wanted to do an endurance race to properly stretch her legs (and to make up for The PeachTree 3)
Imola is such a good little track - and would have been a great excuse to whip the Lamborghini out of the garage.
NEC is always a blast - the feeling of rounding the final corner at the Nordschliefe cannot be beaten - and - when it goes right - always offers chaos and quite the heap of Safety Rating and iRating.
In the end I'd compete in...none.
My friend had a birthday on the 8th, and was planning to go to Manchester, between the 7th and 8th, and as the Isle Of Wight is a further 2 - 3 hours away from her house, had I stayed over the night before, it would make things a lot more convenient (come leaving for Manchester)
The Discord server was also a bit of a mess - one driver asking if anyone's around to do CES at Imola, me asking if anyone wanted to do the 24hrs of Road Atlanta in the Chevvy - me realising I had a pocket of time to ALSO do the Le Mans 24 Hours later in the month....it was like trying to walk across London in a straight line...people EVERYWHERE!
Some didn't have cars, some didn't drive cars...it was a little bit like "match the driver to the car"
That afternoon, I'd board the 5pm ferry (arriving half an hour before) and head to Essex.
This blog is already long enough - and both in terms of the blog and in real life, I've got a busy day tomorrow, so I'll probably leave it here, and see you very soon.